The Autry Museum’s John Gray heads to Smithsonian

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Autry National Center of the American West, has been tapped to lead the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Gray began at the Autry in 1999, and expanded the museum with two mergers – a museum in Colorado in 2002 and then with the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, Los Angeles’ oldest museum, in 2004. He left the Autry in 2010.

Gray will officially take charge of the Smithsonian museum July 23, as it’s undergoing a major renovation, including a new Hall of Music for live performances. “With a collection of over 3 million objects, being on the Mall, and having the responsibility, ethically and publicly, of engaging Americans in their own history is a very exciting opportunity,” Gray said.